Through grassroots and corporate donations, the goal for the campaign is to raise $100,000 by July 24 to help those struggling with food insecurity. The funds raised will be used to purchase products from Utah farmers, and the products will then be donated to individuals and families in need on the west side of the Salt Lake valley.
According to Heidi LeBlanc, director of the Utah State University Hunger Solutions Institute and USU Extension’s Create Better Health program, more than 15,000 individuals have recently lost employment and signed up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Utah, many of whom live in the Salt Lake valley. With the continued impact of the Coronavirus, those numbers will likely continue to rise.
“The Farmers Feeding Utah program is a win-win for everyone,” she said. “By serving a community on the west side of Salt Lake City, the program connects urban families and individuals in need with food from Utah farms and ranches. The program is helping inspire public confidence and support in American agriculture and meeting hunger needs at the same time. It is great for all involved.”
To date, Farmers Feeding Utah has completed two miracle projects. The first was on the Navajo Nation in the southern part of the state, providing over $150,000 in sheep, flour and other commodities. The second was in Northern Utah, providing food to help fill the pantries in Box Elder, Cache and Rich counties. Approximately $100,000 in milk, meat, potatoes, cheese and eggs, along with needed commodities, was donated to the pantries.
Ken White, Utah State University Extension vice president, said he is pleased that Extension will be part of the third miracle project.
“We have friends and neighbors all over the state who are struggling with food insecurity right now, and we are committed to doing all we can to help them,” he said. “The Salt Lake City area is hit especially hard because of their higher population concentration, and we are happy that Farm Bureau, USU Extension and other partners can come together to make these miracle projects happen.”
To contribute to the goal of $100,000 in donations, visit FarmersFeedingUtah.org, where 100 percent of donations will go to purchasing, processing and distributing locally sourced food to families in need.
Public Relations Specialist
Vice President - Communications & Utah Farm and Fork Editor
Utah Farm Bureau
Create Better Health Director